Dr. Janine Gruhn
    Director of Special Education

    Email: jgruhn@district31.net
    Phone: 847-313-4411

    Dr. Janine Gruhn is honored to be the Director of Special Education for District 31.She is committed to recognizing that each student is a unique learner and ensuring that  differences will be celebrated. Dr. Gruhn believes families are an essential part of a child’s educational journey and looks forward to partnering with you. Her goal is to ensure each student  receives an education that is safe, effective, highly engaging, and helps all students meet their full potential.both academically as well as socially and emotionally. 

    Dr. Gruhn received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and received her Master of Education with a concentration in administration and leadership from Loyola University.  In 2016, she earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from National Louis University. In addition, she has endorsements in the areas of director of special education and superintendent on her professional educator’s license.

    Dr. Gruhn has over 24 years of experience in the education field. She began her educational career as a special education teacher working with students with moderate and severe disabilities providing community based instruction,  transition planning , accommodations, modifications and assistive technology to enable students to fully participate in general education classrooms.  Her love for assistive technology led her to a position as a facilitator for Chicago Public Schools. During this time in Chicago Public Schools Dr. Gruhn provided professional development, modeled best instructional practices, developed curriculum, and utilized data to support special education programming.She then had her first administrative position at the Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization (NSSEO), where she served as a special education coordinator.  At NSSEO, she facilitated IEP meetings and advocated for all students. In 2005,  Dr. Gruhn had a wonderful opportunity to start her career as a Director of Special Education at Waukegan Public Schools, a position she held for 11 years.  During this time, she started a Child Find team, met all compliance indicators according to the Illinois State Board of Education,,started two  alternative programs and a transition program. She also participated on District leadership teams, MTSS committees, won a Those Who Excel award for her role on the district crisis team and presented nationally on co-teaching, alternative programming, MTSS, PBIS and transition planning.  Dr. Gruhn then became Director of Student Services at Lyons School District 103.  During this time she developed a special education resource guide, had monthly parent collaboration meetings, and implemented Mental Health First Aid training to increase staff awareness about the impact of social emotional concerns on students and educational outcomes. 

    Dr. Gruhn grew up in Des Plaines where her mother still resides in her childhood home. She now lives in Gurnee with her husband, Ray, and her daughter, Kaylee. During her free time, Dr. Gruhn enjoys traveling with her family, reading, cooking, and watching her daughter’s volleyball games.  

    jgruhn@district31.net   (847) 272-6880 ext. 4411